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How to install Leopard or Snow Leopard desktop version in Parallels 7

We have all those test environments for testing Glims and until now we were using Vmware for virtualization. The problem is Vmware 4 handles very badly Leopard and Snow Leopard.

So here is what we did to install both in Parallels.

If you try to install Snow Leopard or Leopard strait from the dmg you will get the following message:


The general idea is that every time the software needs to validate that the running host is the server version, it will look for the file /System/Library/CoreServices/ServerVersion.plist .

So the first step is to add this file to the installation dmg.

To converted the read only dmg into an writable one from terminal: hdiutil convert MacOSX_Install_DVD.dmg -format UDRW -o MacOSX_Install_DVD_RW.dmg Where MacOSX_Install_DVD.dmg was the original dmg image we had from the dvd.

Then mount the dmg and add the file, for example from terminal: touch "/Volumes/MacOSX_Install_DVD_RW/System/Library/CoreServices/ServerVersion.plist" Again, MacOSX_Install_DVD_RW is the name we gave our volume, it is most likely be something else on your system.

Don't forget to ejected the dmg when you are done.

Now the funny part, during installation we need to create the ServerVersion.plist file on the file system. If we do it to late then we wouldn't be able to boot the installed system.

The right time to do it is right at the beginning, before the installation start.


As you can see in the image above, in the menu bar you have an utility option, there click on terminal.


The virtual hard disk is in the folder '/Volumes/Macintosh HD', the right command from terminal is:

mkdir -p /System/Library/CoreServices touch /System/Library/CoreServices/ServerVersion.plist

After you quit terminal the installation should continue.

The downside of this method is when a system update is needed.

The updates that don't require a restart are fine, you just need to rename the ServerVersion.plist file back and forth before and after the update.

The ones that require a restart needs to be downloaded from Apple, and off course the security updates kind of lock the system during installation so you will need to be careful to rename back the ServerVersion.plist file right before the install starts. (make sure to do a snapshot of your machine before doing anything)

Hope this helps, and good luck.